Tag Archive: picky eaters


When it comes to dinner for my family, the faster and easier the better. The trick is finding dishes that everyone will like. I live with some pretty picky people and they all like and dislike different things which makes things challenging (and frustrating at times). I’m not quite sure how we ended up this way because when my boys were little they ate pretty much everything good. Somehow along the way they decided they don’t like certain things anymore that they used to love. Hopefully it’s just a phase. My husband has been picky ever since I met him so that’s no big surprise. Now that I’m attempting to provide healthier food it’s even more challenging. You see, they all like pizza and hot dogs and french fries, but eating that way all the time isn’t exactly ideal.

Tonight, I decided to throw together a soup inspired by the ease of Sam the Cooking Guy’s tortilla soup. With plenty of ingredients in the cupboard I started throwing things together and it turned out better than I expected. Here’s the “recipe”. The ingredients are listed in the order I dumped them into the pot. The only thing I wish I had, but did not, was corn. Oh well. Next time. Oh, and maybe some green chiles. Shredded rotisserie chicken would work, too. Ok, the possibilities may very well be endless.

2 14.5oz cans Swanson chicken broth – 33% less sodium

about 1tsp minced, dehydrated onion

1 14.5oz can organic black beans, drained and rinsed

1 28oz can whole peeled tomatoes with juice, crushed by hand (because I didn’t feel like washing the blender)

5 cloves of garlic, pressed

taco seasoning, chicken and tomato bouillon to taste (didn’t measure)

about 2tsp Mexican oregano, crushed (different from regular oregano, found in the Latino section)

about 3/4c Barilla Plus penne pasta, dry (added after the rest came to a boil and simmered for 12 minutes)

The entire pot of soup only had 725 calories, 3 grams of fat, 46 grams of protein, and 36 grams of fiber. Serves 4-8 depending on whether the soup is the main dish or a side.

I topped the soup with some shredded cheese and served it with salad and corn bread. I’m thinking it would’ve been really good with some freshly squeezed lime juice like Sam suggests for his Black Bean Soup (also easy and delicious).

Never heard of a haystack? Well, it’s amazing. Not just because it tastes good, but it’s fast and easy to make. Plus, the kids love it and it can be easily customized to please even the pickiest eaters.

Breakfast – Chocolate Shakeology made with 4oz water, 8oz Blue Diamond Original almond milk, a little vanilla extract, some cinnamon and a couple ice cubes

AM Snack – 3 slices turkey bacon, 2 mandarin oranges

Lunch – 2 slices whole grain white bread, 6 extra-thin slices turkey, a little yellow mustard and 4 dill pickle slices (Yes, I know I said I was going to start using the meal planner to change things up, but I actually wrote that the morning after which was the same day I was eating this), 1 small Fuji apple

PM Snack – P90X Wildberry protein bar

Dinner – Haystacks! 1 1/2oz Fritos (you can use something healthier, but it’s not the same), 1c refried beans, 2c shredded iceberg lettuce (same thing as with the Fritos), 1 diced Roma tomato ($2.49/lb!! it’s just wrong), 5 sliced black olives, 2Tbs light sour cream, 2Tbs packaged guacmole (not my first choice by any means, but there were no ripe avocados at the store) 2Tbs salsa, 1oz shredded Mexican cheese blend

There are so many variations on this. Some people like to use chili instead of refried beans. Some people add Spanish rice. I prefer diced avocado when possible, then fresh guacamole, then store-bought as a last resort. I also love diced onions or green onions, but I’m the only one so I didn’t bother. Cilantro is good, too. Don’t like sour cream? My husband likes ranch dressing on his. So many options. You just have to use your imagination.

Dessert – 6oz Yoplait Light Key Lime Pie right after dinner, then later I had 6 mini Peppermint Patties

Total calories – 2191, Protein – 100 grams, Carbs – 305 grams, Fat – 76 grams, Fiber – 42 grams

Protein 17%, Carbs 53%, Fat 30%

Total calories burned – 3419, deficit of 1228 🙂